013 – TV/Feature Writer Tim Stubinski

The prevailing wisdom says that “you must move to L.A.” if you want to make it as a TV or feature writer. This week we meet Tim Stubinski, a Canadian writer who has not only had several features optioned, but got an award winning television pilot produced and on the air… all while living in a small town five hours away from Toronto.


Are you frustrated, trying to work at a day job, while writing in your spare time? Tim Stubinski continues to work as a salesman in his small town, yet is constantly networking, pitching, and writing. He offers great tips on how to write the best query letters, how to pitch over the phone, and how social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are invaluable to anyone trying to break into writing, but especially the “remote writer.”

Hear how he and his writing partner Michael Markus managed to get several feature scripts optioned, and how they made the decision to turn one of their features into a TV pilot, called Wolf Canyon. This pilot got produced by Really Real Films out of Vancouver, starring Kevin Sorbo, Lorne Cardinal and comedienne Nikki Payne… it aired nationwide in Canada, and won five LEO awards!

As a salesman and successful writer, Tim offers much encouragement to other remote writers. He shares openly about the statistics he has observed in how many rejections he must get through before he finds someone who will read and respond to his script, and reminds us all that when selling a script, it’s the “yes” that matters!

Follow Tim on Twitter: @timstubinski

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

012 – TV/Feature Writer Karen Walton

Best known as the writer of the original cult horror film, Ginger Snaps, award-winning writer-producer Karen Walton has developed original and adapted film projects in almost every genre with top producers in Canada, the UK and the American studio system for almost twenty years.


The episode starts with… homework! For the first time, Gray assigns a book to read – The TV Writer’s Workbook, by Emmy-nominated writer Ellen Sandler – as he’ll be talking to Ellen on April 1st, and wants to solicit informed questions about her book.

Then on to the interview with Karen Walton…

After graduating from the Canadian Film Centre, Karen wrote a critically acclaimed independent horror film, Ginger Snaps, that has become a cult hit, and is listed by many critics on their all-time top 10 lists of high school horror films.

This film led to many years of assignment writing, and Karen shares the differences between writing an independent feature versus feature development in the studio system.

Karen has also written critically acclaimed TV movies, including the Gemini-winning The Many Trials of One Jane Doe, and she talks about the challenges of adapting true events, writing socially and morally conscious material, and writing a movie within the confines of the television format.

Karen has also been busy in series television, including freelance episodes of CBC’s Straight Up and CTV’s The Eleventh Hour, being a executive story editor on Showtime’s Queer as Folk, and just recently, she has started as a writer-supervising producer on season 4 of CTV’s Flashpoint, which airs on CBS in the US.

But wait, there’s more… Karen is the executive producer of the successful web series for tweens, Ruby Skye P.I.; has an original paranormal series currently optioned; is an active member of the Writer’s Guild of America – West, Canada, and Quebec’s SARTEC; and if that’s not enough… is the founder and current editor of the online writer’s community Ink Canada.

Follow Karen Walton on Twitter: @inkcanada

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

011 – TV/Feature Writer Daegan Fryklind

This episode serves as the end of our Women TV Writers series and the beginning of our Canadian TV Market series, which will run through the month of March.


Today we meet Daegan Fryklind: a well-established Canadian writer who lives in Vancouver, but often comes to Toronto for writing jobs. In addition to working on well-known series Being Erica, The Listener, and Cold Squad, she has won a Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series Screenwriting (JPod), has been nominated for a Canadian Screenwriter Award (Robson Arms), and co-wrote the animated feature Edison & Leo, which won “Best Animated Feature” at the Bangkok International Animation Film Festival.

In our longest interview yet, she touches on many aspects of the Canadian writing market, from why animated shows are an excellent way to develop dialogue writing skills, to how Canadian TV writing fellowships differ from US fellowships, to rewriting scripts to meet Canadian funding guidelines, to the changing landscape for writers in Vancouver vs Toronto.

Because the Canadian writing market is in many ways tougher than the US market, writers like Daegan can offer great tips to US writers who are trying to break in… plus, find out what part of the Canadian industry might actually entice US writers to move north!

Follow Daegan Fryklind on Twitter: @daeganf

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.